Open Access Research article

Differential diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis from partially-treated pyogenic meningitis by cell ELISA

Rajpal S Kashyap1, Rani P Kainthla1, Ravindra M Satpute1, Neha P Agarwal1, Nitin H Chandak1, Hemant J Purohit2, Girdhar M Taori1 and Hatim F Daginawala1*

Author Affiliations

1 Biochemistry Research Laboratory, Central India Institute of Medical Sciences, 88/2 Bajaj Nagar, Nagpur-440010, India

2 Environmental Modeling and Genomic division, NEERI, Nehru Marg, Nagpur-440020, India

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BMC Neurology 2004, 4:16  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-4-16

Published: 22 October 2004



Tuberculous meningitis (TBM) is a major global health problem, and it is sometimes difficult to perform a differential diagnosis of this disease from other diseases, particularly partially-treated pyogenic meningitis (PTPM). In an earlier study, we demonstrated the presence of a 30-kD protein antigen in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of TBM patients. We have also shown that lymphocytes from CSF of TBM patients respond differently to this antigen than do those from PTPM patients. The purpose of this study was to develop an assay that can discriminate between TBM and PTPM.


We developed a cell enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (Cell ELISA) to quantitatively measure production of antibodies against the 30-kD protein in B cells from CSF of TBM and PTPM patients.


The cell ELISA yielded 92% (11/12) sensitivity and 92% (11/12) specificity for the differential diagnosis of TBM from PTPM.


When induced with the 30-kD protein antigen, B cells derived from CSF of TBM patients respond to IgG production within 24 h while those derived from PTPM patients do not respond.